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EIPH identifies two coronavirus variants in the district; recommends ongoing precautions


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IDAHO FALLS — Eastern Idaho Public Health has identified the presence of two coronavirus variants in the district. The United Kingdom variant (B.1.1.7), and the California variant are offshoots of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the virus that causes COVID-19.

Both variants have already been identified in other areas of the state, according to an EIPH news release.

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With the emergence of these variants in eastern Idaho, officials say it is imperative the public follow recommendations to slow the spread of the virus. These recommendations include:

  • Keeping hands clean and avoiding touching your face unnecessarily.
  • Staying home when sick except to seek medical attention.
  • Following all guidance on quarantine and isolation.
  • Maintaining space between yourself and others not of the same household.
  • When not able to distance, wearing a mask correctly.
  • Getting vaccinated when you are eligible.

The best results in reducing virus transmission come when all these strategies are done in conjunction with each other, according to the release. Health officials say no single intervention tool is perfect at reducing the spread of the virus. National health officials say the various vaccines are still showing effectiveness against the variants.

Last week, Bonneville and Madison counties made national news for being some of the fastest growing hotspots for the virus in the country. There are currently no mandates in effect in either county, but recommendations for masks, and gathering restrictions remain in place.

Idaho Falls, Rexburg have some of worst recent COVID outbreaks in country

Currently, there are 653 active COVID-19 cases in the district. Since March 2020, there have been 25,807 cases in the district, with 25,154 recoveries and 228 deaths, according to the latest statistics.

For more information on the COVID vaccine, including who is currently eligible to receive the vaccine, how to schedule an appointment, what to expect at your appointment, and vaccine safety and efficacy information, visit the EIPH website.

For the latest news about COVID-19 visit the COVID-19 page.